CARSON CITY – The path to retire NV Energy’s Reid Gardner coal plant is now clear, thanks to overwhelming bipartisan support of Nevada Senate Bill 123, approved today by the state Assembly and headed for action by Governor Brian Sandoval. As part of the legislation, Nevada will also end its use of coal power from Arizona’s polluting Navajo Generating Station and will plan for 350 megawatts of new renewable energy. Governor Sandoval has indicated his support for the legislation.
The Moapa Band of Paiutes and Sierra Club have fought for several years to retire the Reid Gardner coal plant that sits immediately adjacent to the Moapa River reservation. Paiute families have been suffering for decades from high rates of asthma, heart disease, lung disease, and cancer they believe are related to the plant’s air pollution.
“When we first started to call for the closure of Reid Gardner, we were told it couldn’t be done,” said Vickie Simmons, leading member of the Moapa Band of Paiutes Health and Environmental Committees. “Now, with this legislation, we are close to our goal. The coal plant that has for years poisoned our reservation will finally close and be cleaned up; and the state of Nevada will build more renewable energy. This will mean a cleaner and better future for our families and community.”
In the weeks leading up to the state Assembly’s vote, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Nevada campaign launched a radio and online ad campaign in support of the measure, and contacted thousands of supporters around the state to urge legislators to pass the bill.
“Diverse groups from across the state have rallied behind this measure and they have made one thing very clear: coal-fired power is no longer a viable energy option for our state,” said Jane Feldman, Sierra Club State Energy Task Force Chair. “It’s too risky economically and too risky environmentally. The future of Nevada is in clean, renewable energy and the jobs it brings for our state.”
“We thank the members and leadership of the Legislature who worked hard to develop and improve this bill. This bipartisan consensus on ending dirty coal and building more renewable energy will clean up our air, improve people’s health, and lead to more economic development and jobs,” said Feldman.